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Wednesday
Sep262012

Cold Calculus for a Hot Planet

Consensus grows that the record heat of 2012 is no longer an exception, but the new norm. The scramble underway to get our minds around this has reports coming out all over. Today, Commondreams reported a new one from the Climate Vulnerability Monitor that says if we simply keep doing what we’re doing, 100,000,000 of us will die by 2030 and $1Trillion will be lost from the economy. Changing the economy costs far less.

I especially like that this study is produced by countries most vulnerable. While big, wealthy countries like the U.S. dally instead of act, poorer countries are acting, driven by the greater impact a hotter planet is having on them. 

 Highlights from the study include:

  • Climate change and a carbon-intensive economy are already a leading global cause of death today, responsible for 5 million deaths each year – 400,000 due mainly to air pollution
  • Failure to act on climate change already costs the world economy 1.6% of global GDP amounting to 1.2 trillion dollars in forgone prosperity a year
  • Major economies are heavily hit: in less than 20 years China will incur the greatest share of all losses at over 1.2 trillion dollars; the US economy will be held back by more 2% of GDP; India, over 5% of its GDP
  • Economic losses dwarf the modest costs of tackling climate change: emission reductions at just 0.5% of GDP 

I’m expecting similar reports will continue to increase in upcoming months, like rising streams after one of our 2012 heavy rains. The consequences of staying with an economy requiring growth will be more heat! Cold calculus isn’t lying to us.

Reader Comments (1)

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August 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterXNXX

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